Common Summer Eye Problems in Arizona

July 6th, 2021

If you’re like most people, you probably spend a lot more time outside during the summer. Enjoy the summer sun and warm weather but don’t forget to protect your eyes, so you can enjoy those gorgeous desert sunsets for many years to come!

Temperatures typically reach the triple digits and stay there during the hottest part of the day in the greater Phoenix area. Just as you put on sunscreen to protect your skin before heading out the door, it’s important to remember to wear sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes. If you have dry, itchy eyes or other symptoms that don’t resolve on their own or worsen over time, it’s important to see one of our doctors at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute for an eye exam to diagnose your condition as soon as possible.

Our eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler treat a variety of eye conditions brought on by the harsh Arizona summer sun. Corneal burns, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, styes, and allergies are some of the most common eye conditions that are typically on the rise during the summer. Learn more about each of these conditions and what you can do to prevent them.

Corneal Burns

Overexposure to ultraviolet rays can cause a painful corneal burn or photokeratitis. This condition affects the cornea and most resembles a sunburn on your eyes. To prevent sunburn on your eyes, wear sunglasses with UV protection or safety glasses with the appropriate light filter. If you suspect you have a corneal burn, schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler for immediate treatment.

Dry Eyes

If you have dry eye syndrome, you may already walk around with artificial tears to keep your eyes moist. Additional use of fans and air conditioners can aggravate dry eyes, triggering red, itchy, and irritated eyes. Your tears evaporate faster under the summer sun, especially in the dry desert air.

Choosing high-quality sunglasses with UV protection can help keep dust in wind from irritating you’re already sensitive eyes. We also recommend eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A to promote eye health, such as almonds, milk, and leafy green vegetables.


Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, may affect one or both eyes. Red, itchy, and watery eyes are typical symptoms accompanying this common condition. Bacterial or viral infection triggers conjunctivitis, but you can practice good eye hygiene to prevent this painful condition. For example, avoid wearing contact lenses in the pool or ocean.


Swelling in the eyelid, called a stye, often comes from a bacterial infection. If you or your child develop a stye, it’s important to avoid rubbing the area as this will only make it worse and take longer to heal. To help prevent styes, gently exfoliate the eyelids to clear away dead cells. It’s also a good idea to avoid expired cosmetics.


Anyone who suffers from eye allergies knows that summer triggers them in a big way. Increased pollution, dust, and humidity all factor into how badly your allergies will act up. Allergic reactions include redness, inflammation, and itching. Maintain good hygiene and wear goggles while swimming to help avoid worsening allergies. You can also steer clear of areas with high pollen counts and pollution when your allergies flare up.

We specialize in cataract and LASIK surgery in Mesa and Chandler, but Swagel Wootton Eye Institute is a full-service eye care provider. We can help keep your eyes healthy year-round. Don’t let dry eyes, corneal burns, red eyes, or allergies ruin your summer. Contact our eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler to set up an appointment for immediate treatment.